Posted on | February 11, 2016 | 3 Comments
— by Wombat-socho
Readers of Instapundit and Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter Nation blog (which should be most of you, I would think) are already aware of Nick Cole’s very public calling out of Harper Collins for attempting to kill his latest book, CTRL-ALT-Revolt!, and terminating his contract for the unforgivable sin of Wrongthink. If not, Nick explains the whole stupid tale on his own blog, and I’ll let him tell his tale there. tl;dr: Another example of how the gatekeepers the SJWs claim don’t exist try to keep good, entertaining writers off the market; in this case, Cole is having the best revenge, releasing the book on Amazon instead and being rewarded with massive sales and a #1 hit in the cyberpunk subgenre for both e-books and print books. I’m about halfway through the book, which reads like Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, only BETTER, since its basic plot revolves around a group of AIs deciding to wipe out humanity before humanity strikes first…based on their watching the latest Hollywood reality show. At $0.99 for the Kindle edition, you’d be a fool not to buy this.
Somewhat more expensive, but also very worth it, is There Will Be War Volume X, which marks the revival of the classic Cold War anthology series edited by Jerry Pournelle. There’s stories in here from Larry Niven, Greg Benford, Poul Anderson and some new talents, as well as non-fiction from William Lind, Martin van Creveld, and Phillip Pournelle. Not a clunker in the lot. Vox is absolutely right to nominate Jerry for Best Editor (Short Form), which as the Supreme Dark Lord notes is an honor long overdue. Related: the reissue of There Will Be War Volume IX is out from Castalia House.
I’m not a big fan of the late Iain Banks’ Culture novels; in general, they do a great job of showing just how damn boring life in a post-scarcity society where you can pretty much have anything or be anyone, since most of them take place on the fringes of the Culture during various wars or Special Circumstances missions where the Culture comes into conflict with alien, less advanced societies. One of them, and the only one I own, is The Player of Games, which involves the blackmailing of one Jernau Morat Gurgeh, a noted master of games, into traveling to the Empire of Azad to play the game of Azad, a tremendously involved and complicated social simulation that determines who’s going to run the Empire and how. Nobody, not even Gurgeh himself, expects him to do well, but as he becomes more familiar with the society that the game mirrors, something inside him changes…and so does the game. A very dark book in several respects, but along with Consider Phlebas, probably the best of the Culture books.